View Full Version : set-top box question
07-09-2003, 06:34 PM
Could I get some opinions about what EPIA board would be suitable to put in a set-top box? Normally I would just go with the latest & most powerful model, but I want it to be as quiet as possible. Are any of the fanless EPIA boards good enough to run Sage TV?
Also, does anyone have any experience with the power supplies from quietpc.com? I'm considering one of them to keep the noise down.
This box would be using a PVR-350 (after the OSD is supported for TV-out) and I'll probably get 512MB RAM (unless someone suggests otherwise) and 120GB hard drive.
Thanks for your help!
07-09-2003, 08:35 PM
For a quiet Mini-ITX, how about the Hushbox? As far as the power supplies at quietpc.com, I bought an older model from them and was happy with it. I believe they now sell the Nexus power supplies, which you can probably buy elsewhere at a cheaper price.
One thing you might want to think about is that if you are only using this machine as a dedicated PVR running SageTV only, how about using Win98Lite? May help in performance and reliability, and use less resources than XP.
07-10-2003, 03:38 AM
I think frey tech need a new forum for mini-itx based users :)
I'm still in the planning stage for my mini-itx pvr/htpc - i think we are on the cusp of a true low power, silent, multi-function, pc based media client :)
The PVR350 gives you hardware mped2 decoding, which the latest EPIA cpus (nehemiah etc) have already. So I guess it depends on how good the on-board s-video/tv-out is. The OSD feature is mooted for a future release but from the sounds of it, not sometime soon. A few folks are happy switching between two inputs on their tv's - one for windows and one for the full-screen PVR350 output.
The quality of the EPIA tv output has been described across the web as anything from 'bad' to fine at normal viewing distance. I have a 32" widescreen TV so I need great output and widescreen friendly resolutions.
I hope to be running Sage in a client/server config with all the recordning and time-slipping done by a beefy back end server in my study. That way the mini-itx box has the PCI slot free for a better video card with better TV output, the Nvidia FX5200 PCI looks a nice bet, or perhaps an older ATI 7500 or Matrox G450. The xcard does hardware mpeg4 (divx) playbak as well but I'd like to see OSD support for that if possible.
To keep the stb as 'thin' as possible it would be great to make it diskless. I think 98lite would squeeze on a CF card (you'd need a CF to IDE adaptor) or even a IBM 1GB minidrive thingy. If only win98 or even Xp could be make to boot over a network like Linux can (SageTV 4 Linux ?! :) )! I have seen network bootable solutions for 98, XP but they are expensive, commercial products. Once your booted, running Sage TV Client over the LAN should be no problem.
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